Friday 11 November 2011

Know Your Enemy

Have you ever wondered how it is that the Daily Mail & Express (other brands of toilet paper available) seem so intent on victimising sick and disabled people?

Ever wondered how it is, that monthly benefit fraud rates, released by the DWP are always written up in such an inflammatory way? Why national media only ever print the government lines. Chris Grayling, minister for employment, says he is "bemused" by it.

Maybe Iain Duncan-Smith can clear up this mystery?

Meet his special advisers : Susie Squire former Taxpayers Alliance until May 2010. For those who don't know already, The Taxpayers Allowance are huge Tory donors, regularly accused of simply being a Conservative front. They're not exactly on the Liberal, one-nation side of the Tory fence either. More your rabid frothing side. A quick scroll through their website will tell you everything you need to know, but they regularly attack disability benefits and those who receive them.

And SpAd No.2 :  Phillipa Stroud : Remember the name? Yep she was the politician who thought she could pray-away-the-gay!

She sees homosexuality as a "demon" that needs to be driven out of a person. Accordingly, she set up her own "church" to carry out this important work. Do click on these links, they're fascinating. As I read through, I wondered if she should be allowed anywhere near Westminster at all.

One can only begin to imagine what someone like Stroud might think of the disabled. No doubt we have demons of our own. It's not so long ago since people thought disabilities were the outward sign of some inner corruption or evil.

Now, surely the profiles of these two women might go some way to explaining just why, yet again today, we see misleading press releases leading to misleading stories?

**Clearly when I say "misleading" I mean out and out poppycock, but you know, legal blah......


  1. *wonders if Cameron understands that this unchecked rabiditity might cost him the next election?

  2. Sorry to be anonymous, but you'll see why.

    I have an old and good friend who became an evangelical Christian a few years ago. I know Christians come in all flavours these days (ie trying not to generalise here) but I'm afraid my otherwise-rational friend believes illness is caused by the attention of demons. I'm more than happy to appear in her prayers on the off-chance they'll work, but I'm concerned that someone who may hold similar views is near the centre of our policy executive.

    And doesn't IDS himself hold some religious views? Or (cynic that I am) 'claim to'?

  3. Stirring the boiling cauldron with a big wooden spoon while mumbling and muttering if it works for some than why not another.

  4. Yes Sue. I remember Disagreeable Weasel had a couple of blog posts on precisely the same thing back in June. Her blog is now defunct because of all the bile she received, of course.

  5. Yes Anonymous, Ian Duncan Smith is an adherent of that insitution of impeccable and unimpeachable morals, the Catholic Church.

  6. As somebody who was aware of/familiar with both Phillipa Stroud and her husband well before she got into politics (I have good friends who belong to all three of the churches her husband founded - though I don't know either Stroud personally), I think you've probably misjudged her. The reporting claiming that she thinks homosexuality is caused by demons was every bit as sensationalist (albeit in a different way) as the bile put out by the likes of the Mail and the Express, and so should probably be taken with a pinch of salt.

    Although I absolutely do not share her politics, I think that there's a big difference between Stroud and the likes of the Taxpayers Alliance. She at least went into politics for the right reasons. After spending most of her life working with the homeless, she joined a political party to make a difference and help the most vulnerable. Has she come up with policies that don't help? Most probably. Does she want to screw over the vulnerable? Almost certainly not.

    Let's leave the hateful rants to the right-wing tabloids, rather than stooping to their level.

    Oh, and on the question raised by the other anonymous, the view that most or all illnesses are caused by demons would be considered a fringe belief amongst Evangelicals. Yes, plenty of them think that some illnesses can sometimes be caused by demons, but given that the Bible has one or two accounts of Jesus curing people with demon-caused illnesses, I'm not sure that's a particularly fringe or freaky belief. Incidentally, I can confirm that the demons-cause-most/all-illness thing isn't one that's taught by the group of churches that the Strouds are involved with. Yes, a lot of their churches emphasise that God can and does heal today. But that's probably a less dangerous belief for a policy-maker than believing in, say, homeopathy - as my experience is that they don't set it up as an alternative to real medicine.

  7. Wasn't Mrs Stroud of the belief that women should be second class citizens according to their church? I believe liberal Christian outlets raised the concerns about her husbands thinking influencing her should she have been elected in Sutton and Cheam.

  8. From "Exclusive: Philippa Stroud’s lawyers warn media over ‘gay cure’ claims" - Pink News - 5th May 2010

    "On Sunday, contacted Mrs Stroud to ascertain if she rejected the claims.

    In a a statement she said: “I make no apology for being a committed Christian. However it is categorically untrue that I believe homosexuality to be an illness and I am deeply offended that The Observer has suggested otherwise.”

    When pointed out to her spokesman that The Observer’s prime claim was not that she believed homosexuality to be an illness and that instead, it was that she appeared to believe it could be overcome through prayer and removing “demons”, a spokesman said: “We will not be adding to or subtracting to [sic] the statement.”

  9. To Anonymous 11 November 2011 18:37

    The claims made were not the claims Philippa Stroud (or to be more precise lawyers) responded to. The gay community noted this at the time, yet not a lot of attention was given to detail.

    The claims made originally by the Observer was that the Strouds church prayed with people to "overcome their demons", Philippa Stroud has never responded satisafactorily to that specific point, and to the witnesses who were present for such "pray away the gay" sessions.

  10. Stirring some more the cold mist rolls out shroud and demon like on this dark damp night.

  11. I woke up this morning in pain as usual, before I had opened my eyes I heard the radio newspaper round up tell me that 94% of DLA applications got it on just "filling in a form."
    Really nice that on another long and painful day I can rest assured that the public think my benefits are sooo easy to get and more than likely faking.

  12. Given that the Tories have been handing out public money to religious concerns - marking a worrisome narrowing of the gap between church and state - it's no surprise that Cameron is surrounding himself with these zealous cronies. It is however of great concern that they call themselves Christians but act in opposition to the basic values of humanity, let alone the tenants of Biblical law.

  13. Even Sky has finally cottoned on that DWP press releases are designed to mislead.

    Ian Duncan Smith, Grayling and Lord Fraud have all recently declared that they have no control over newspaper healines, are "bemused" by the way the media are covering the benefits issue and say it is unfortunate and absolutely nothing to do with them. Chop their noses off, it could heat the house this winter.

    Article on Sky makes it clear that the latest press release is endorsed by IDS who is quoted as saying
    "At the moment hundreds of millions of pounds are paid out in disability benefits to people who have simply filled out a form," he said.

    Ian Birrell (yep never heard of him either) is apparently a friend of Cameron and his former sppechwriter. He also happens to have a disabled daughter. He accuses the government of a "nasty campaign"

    IDS is a good catholic.


  14. Personally, I think this press release was deliberately designed to draw attention away from the tragic suicide pact of Helen and Mark Mullins. It was getting too much attention and public sympathy with calls for an enquiry.

    Time for the quiet man to turn the hatred volume up to 11.

    Frankly I am utterly b****y sick of this.
    If it wasn't for the welfare state, I would be dead.
    If that's what they want they should have the guts to shoot me in public.

  15. Honestly, I'm starting to hope all these rabidly religious right-wingers frothing at the mouth over 'scroungers' are right in their beliefs. Particularly the ones about what happen to evil people.

    Have a nice warm eternity, Taxpayers Alliance...

  16. She's no Christian she with regret was born in 1965 into a privileged lifestyle like David Cameron he to is no Christian they know as much about the church as i do about nuclear energy

    That privileged age group enviably went straight in to pr roles across the country and have never done anything in their lives other then talk and have never been taken serious by those who have had a decent 85 year old family history like myself from the bank of England

  17. Know Your Enemy
    The ranks of the sick and disabled grow ever larger
    Leaked army memo
    The Telegraph reports that the memo suggests as many as 2,500 wounded soldiers could be made redundant in the next round of military cuts, as the military makes tens of thousands of job cuts by April 2015.

  18. Tricky questions are again being asked about the profits American insurance giant Unum stands to make from its massive media push on income protection cover, promoted as the answer to the latest tough welfare reforms.
    “The government’s welfare reform bill will seek to tighten the gateway to benefits for those people unable to work due to sickness or injury. Each year up to 1m people in the UK become disabled and the reforms mean that working people will be able to rely less on state benefits to maintain the standard of living they were used to prior to their illness.”
    Well, Unum should know. Behind the scenes it has been helping Tory and Labour governments slash the benefits of disabled and sick people for years – going right back to Peter Lilley’s social security “Incapacity for Work” reforms of 1994.

    1. UNUM pulled out of individual private health insurance.

  19. Of course if you have a known disability or sickness or injury then you cannot insure your self for that illness anyway, if you have had cancer or have a known problem.

    But yes UNUM has been here seeking to get the British government to go for the private insurance route, but I suspect in the coming years this will happen.

    I had private insurance when I worked and it has given me a large chunk of money

  20. Here is a good one, my fridge freezer has packed up, it's only two years old, I was working out the cost of a new one when the wife came in and says the dam washing machine has packed up.

    So I could draw out my money from my bond accounts which is basically held for my retirement, so I said I'll take out a short term loan from the bank.

    They said I had an A rating with the bank, but the had to do a credit check, it came back D the lowest, so the loan was turned down, I said how can they turn down my loan and they said because although your on benefits you might get them stopped because of the new medical check, I said so what! I will take out my pension because I'm able to retire.

    Two hours later they said yes you can have a loan and I said tell you what stuff it.
    but in the end I took it bloody hell we are now rated the lowest of the lowest, we are the cause of the banking crises,....
    They said they are not lending to people on IB but will lend to people on ESA, so letters gone to my MP again..... what a nerve

  21. Possessions can at times be a heavy burden :)

  22. The Bible according to David Cameron:
    For someone who once likened his religious faith to the "patchy reception of Magic FM in the Chilterns: it sort of comes and goes", David Cameron's public professions of belief continue to intrigue.

  23. As a former engineer a risk analysis of the esa, dla proposals are needed. i could go further into detail about DFMEA, FMEA but dont want to bore the pants off you all. needless to say its a risk assessment

  24. The problem is Mr C sissor hands has pushed the ESA in front withouth the proper legislation,is asking the DWP to do his derty work without giving them the proper tools.Is not just the papers attaking the welfare sistem but the BBC and any filogovernament body is out there.Mr C sissor hand is just preparing the field for proposing legislation against the welfere state in his all.The usual miopic and hurryed stile we are getting from Mr C.He blames everybody and anything ,the last one from him is blaming the europian ministers of the non existent growt in England economy,after having blamed the labours the liberal democrats and everything he can think off ,never accepting any blame for himself and his policy what a luser.What he thinks will be appening we lie down and die?

  25. P.S When MR c ,the small c is intentional,is saying doctors can write people off work but cannot write people on work he just says that from now on DWP will not take note of what your doctor says or what your condition is,and will just assess you on the Atos "medical assessament" an exuse to take you off ESA and put you on JSA don't let him get away with it go to your MP,write to newspaper,the proper ones ,write to television even to the "impartial" BBC and to any one you can think of

  26. You have Sovereignty, realize it, and use it.

  27. " One can only begin to imagine what someone like Stroud might think of the disabled. No doubt we have demons of our own."

    Do you have any evidence that she holds these views about disabled people or have you made this up?

  28. An anonymous said: "Wasn't Mrs Stroud of the belief that women should be second class citizens according to their church? I believe liberal Christian outlets raised the concerns about her husbands thinking influencing her should she have been elected in Sutton and Cheam."

    That would be a mischaracterisation of her belief. The Strouds hold a complementarian view of gender roles (equal in value but different in role). Describing this as meaning women are in some way second-class is either being ignorant of what they actually believe or deliberately distorting it to make them look bad. As I understand it, their view would be that this affects some roles within the church and the way they run their marriage, but wouldn't mean that (even if he had the time) Dave Stroud would be making Phillipa Stroud's decisions had she been elected to Parliament. It's unlikely that his influence on her politics would have been any greater than that of the average MPs spouse.

    Fourbanks said "She's no Christian she with regret was born in 1965 into a privileged lifestyle like David Cameron he to is no Christian they know as much about the church as i do about nuclear energy

    That privileged age group enviably went straight in to pr roles across the country and have never done anything in their lives other then talk and have never been taken serious by those who have had a decent 85 year old family history like myself from the bank of England "

    You might want to actually read Phillipa Stroud's biography. The closest she's been to a PR role was her time at the Centre for Social Justice. Before that, her entire working life was spent working with the homeless. She was known within some Christian circles as a leader in church-led social action well before she became involved in politics. Any claim that she's not a Christian is, quite frankly, ignorant of the facts.

    However, I'd agree with you that Cameron is not a Christian (except in the broad cultural sense), though. There was a piece in the Guardian on Friday, where he named his favourite Bible verses. His spokesman explained the choice by claiming that the central message of the Bible was "about leading good lives and helping each other as best we can". In actual fact, the Bible is primarily about God/Jesus, and Cameron's summary clearly shows ignorance of the actual content.

  29. Anonymous @ 22.19 - Lol, I don't think you need evidence for "one can only imagine". If we have reached the stage where imagining needs evidence, right wing Tories will be spluttering with rage.

  30. They said it themselves not me
    A senior Tory MP was last night accused of launching a tirade of abuse against David Cameron in which he allegedly described the Prime Minister as an 'a**e'.

    Former Army colonel Patrick Mercer was also claimed to have witheringly dismissed Mr Cameron as 'a despicable creature'

    Read more:

  31. No NO NO not the daily Heil, nothing that paper has is worth reading.

    Our Dearly Beloved Tony Blair was on TV this morning talking about how hard it is for David Cameron.

    Money makes the world go around.

  32. Robert, never Borrow.
    You have money.

  33. The Arabs get a fresh bright Spring the sick and disabled get a dark brutal Winter

  34. Actually I did have a good solid payment in compensation, paid out in 2006 in which the court directed a large chunk would go to my pension fund, which is the reason that one Friday I put in for retirement.

    I can draw out from that fund each year £1500, but since I intend to retire and then live out side of the UK, leaving you all to keep on the good fight.

  35. @Robert

    …mmm Floods, earth quakes, volcanoes, heat waves, tornadoes, tsunami, armed mobs, pirates, lawlessness, droughts, mosquitoes , snakes… have fun

  36. All this in Scotland, but of course it's Germany I will be moving to to my family home.
    The house has been left to me.....

  37. Gemma Hayter case review: Family criticises care
    sometimes you know your enemy like i do the DWP but sometimes like this lady you don't
    she like me does have help but sometimes in my case the DWP can break it down in her case she was murdered by scum

    So you can see an attack can happen at any time so keep a watch out like i do

  38. A little disingenuous of you Sue. This whole post is designed to suggest Ms Stroud believes disabled people have demons. I'm just asking to see the evidence that she holds that view.

  39. Re Tax Payers Alliance ......apparently only 100 people went to the Jeremy Clarkson wanabe demo

    A very motley crew , apparently they don't being called Far Right , they said it wasn't fair to lump them in with the National Front , some are Ayn Rand devotees , " Randy Randy " liked her fags but it was all kept down when she used Medicare in the States , some are right wing libertarians , some right wing anarchists , many are Out of the EEC campaigners , some are Economic Patriots ....basically all good 6th form stuff

    The problem is is that there has been that many cuts with journalism , they are so reliant on the same old agencies , so the rent a quote TPA have basically handed stories on a plate to the media with no worries about libel either

  40. Anonymous 19.06 - No, the whole point of the post is to point out that IDS is surrounding himself with Far right pilchards and evangelical zealots.

    I merely muse on the fact that just as with homosexuality, disability was long seen as a sin or something caused by evil demons.

  41. Please can anybody tell me if is possible to take Atos to court and to sue them for damages,it's incredible thay get out scot-free after bringing so much misery to soo many, blatantaly lying and contradicting their own observations ,like the nazi at the concentration camps their only excuse is we just follow orders!!!!

  42. P.S Please at the next election,I think soon we will have it,GO and VOTE,and on another issue have you seen Nick Clegg recently,after taking all the blame in the university fees fiasco he has learned his lesson he must have told Mr C "on the welfare riform sorry mate you are on your own",but I am sure if the needs arise Mr C can found another sacrificial lamb

  43. [QUOTE]The angry one has left a new comment on the post "Know Your Enemy":

    Please can anybody tell me if is possible to take Atos to court and to sue them for damages,it's incredible that get out Scot-free after bringing so much misery to so many, blatantly lying and contradicting their own observations ,like the Nazi at the concentration camps their only excuse is we just follow orders!!!![/QUOTE]

    Sure it's possible however we don't appear to have anyone in this country according to the law society that is able to do so as from lack of knowledge and expertise in other words you would lose
    And until someone does have the experience in what is a very detailed policy you will not be able to go forward as everyone in the DWP/ATOS work place is just following orders as they did in Germany with Hitler
    The police can only get involved if you are the register of care and are being mistreated in some way which could mean that you have lost your benefits and are found wonting

    Your only redress at this time is your mp as he or she will fight if they can to get your benefit's reinstated


    Basically The Tax Payers Alliance had regurgitated the Daily Mail , neither of these had any understanding as to exactly how the scheme worked . However ! the DWP was providing supportive quotes .

    In actuality 50 % of benefits go on State Pensions , only 11 % is for JSA , IB , ESA etc , the low hanging fruit for The Tories would be people from 65 - 75 but they are prime voting fodder , and possibly Tory supporting Daily Mail / Express / Maily Telegraph readers .

    In fact one of the intentions of the original Poll Tax was for " certain people " to be disenfranchised from the voting system . However the Poll Tax was seen to be a radical step too far , they couldn't really get rid of it as it was a Thatcher Flagship Policy so they had to do a coup to get rid of her instead . John Major quietly abolished and replaced it with the Council Tax .

  45. I find it interesting that we are now being told that we are amongst the most obese people in Europe. Its probably comfort eating brought on by being so depressed about everything the government plans to do to us!

  46. Viz Cpmic Satire of The Sun : - " Scroungers - this family deserve to die ! " not necessarily that exaggerated